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National Telework Pilot Project’s Kick-off Event, Washington, D.C.

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
at the
National Telework Pilot Project’s Kick-off Event
Washington, D.C.

April 24, 2001

Thank you, Congressman (Frank) Wolf, it’s great to be with you here at the Capitol on this beautiful spring day.

I am delighted to join with so many friends of the environment to kick-off the National Telework “Don’t Pollute, E-Commute” pilot project.

Thanks to the hard work of Senator Santorum and Congressman Wolf, the National Environmental Policy Institute has developed this pilot program to encourage and reward e-commuting as a way of reducing emissions and cleaning our air.

The way it works is simple. Companies that successfully encourage their employees to e-commute will earn emission credits that can then be traded or donated within their regions.

E-commuting eliminates the emissions from the automobiles those workers would otherwise be driving to the office – and that will make for cleaner air.

The five cities that are participating in this pilot program – Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. – stand to eliminate literally tons of automobile emissions from their air.

In addition, e-commuting saves energy, an important priority as we work to meet the energy crisis.

I’m excited about the possibilities for success this pilot project presents.

E-Commuting is a great way for employees to use technology to do their work from home.

There are an increasing number of jobs, these days, that can be performed from just about anywhere.

For example, the person who drafted my remarks today was sitting at a desk in his house.

He received the information about this event by e-mail, drafted some remarks on his computer, and sent them to me by fax.

I made changes, sent those edits back to him, he entered my changes, and sent a clean copy back to me – all without having to leave home.

The only keys he had to use were on his keyboard – his car keys remained in his pocket and his car remained in his garage.

I’m pleased to say that no air was polluted in the preparation of these remarks. This innovative program is exactly what the President means when he advocates market-based incentives to help improve America’s environment.

It’s also what I mean when I talk about building partnership to achieve common goals – partnerships that get government, business, and environmental groups all working together to improve our environment.

Participation in “Don’t Pollute – E-Commute” is totally voluntary – but it also makes good business sense. That’s why I’m optimistic about its success.

I want to congratulate all those who have worked so hard to launch this pilot project.

I also want to thank those members of the business community that have already agreed to participate.

Together, we can help make America’s air cleaner in the years ahead.

Thank you.